September 29, 2014

INSPIRATION: Mailtag questions #1

For those of you who can use a little inspiration for mailtag questions every now and then, here are some pictures of tags I sent along with my letters the past few months. I used paper by Flying Tiger and Paperchase, different kinds of washi and decotape for the decorations, black and white pens, that's it. If you have any original questions for mailtags, don't hestitate to let me know in the comments below!

September 26, 2014

OUTGOING MAIL: Handmade with love

Next to snailmail, I am a huge fan of crochet. I crocheted some larger projects, like blankets and bags, but (as many crocheters will recognize) I also have TONS of unfinished projects, piles and piles of granny squares and tiny bits and pieces I found on Pinterest and wanted to give a try. So I thought to myself, why not combine those two granny hobbies of mine and send some crochet around the world?

Oh yes, I do admit: no crochet in the picture above. But, when I was going to send some yarn in an envelope, the writing paper had to match, right? Probably the most lazy form of cross stitch in the history of embroidery, because I guess even my friend's 3-year-old could poke holes in a piece of paper and pull some colored thread through, but still! I like the effect of brightly colored thread on kraft paper.

As you can see, I did a simple cross stitch in pink, and an arrow 'pattern' in lime. I also used one of my favorite hot pink pens, it's a Pilot Choose in color 07. Go get one of these, they write like a charm and come in yummy colors.

Back to the main topic of this post: crochet. I glued a pink crochet flower to a kraft label to send as a tiny gift. Granny squares also make great envelope gifts; they're light in weight, and I have seriously never seen a granny square that didn't look cute. For this one, I used this pattern I found on Ravelry once, it looks harder than it actually is. Don't let the long text with sl st's, dc's and sc's scare you! Oh, and I made an envelope out of light blue "Made with love" paper, thought this went pretty well with the 'theme' of my letter.

And that's it! A light-weight letter with pretty accents, hope you like it! I sent this one off to my new penpal Jane, I am looking forward to her response!


September 22, 2014

TRAVELLING NOTEBOOK: Smash my mailbox #2 - Sarah's notebook sneak peek

Our travelling notebook round robin is fully up to speed, and last week I sent off Sarah's notebook to the next in line: Emilienne. I can't wait to show you the pictures, but of course I am not going to spoil the surprise for Sarah. So today I am just posting a little sneak peek, you will have to wait for the rest of the pictures until some time early next year I am afraid.

So Sarah gave her notebook the theme "quotes", such a great idea. Every now and then when I stumble upon a beautiful quote, I add them to my Pinterest board. This board definitely came in handy for Sarah's notebook!

I used Sarah's notebook in an art journal kind of way, I didn't do a lot of 'real' journalling (as in keeping a written diary for some days, notice the quotation marks: I DO consider art journalling REAL journalling!) In total, I decorated eight pages. And I had sooo much fun! It made me realise I should start my own art journal some time soon (as well as start learning Spanish, make a stew every weekend, work out three times a week...could I please please please add a few more hours to every day? Especially the weekends, kthxbai).

I decided to show you one page of the notebook! One I think turned out pretty nice. In the notebook, I wrote down an alphabet of positivity: 26 words that give you a positive feeling. This wasn't as easy as it sounds, even in Dutch it is hard to come up with 26 words like that! First, I started writing down the words that came to mind, and of course there were some letters left I could not come up with something for. I used this AWESOME list! Awesome blog as well, by the way. Guys, we should seriously fill up those dictionaries when it comes to Q, X and Z.

Well, I hope Sarah's notebook travels safely to Emilienne in France, and ultimately back to Canada! I received Ninni's notebook a couple of days ago, and will start filling it soon. When you think about it, it's so much fun to send something beautiful around the world! I wish I could travel with it. Wow, that would be one heavy package.


September 19, 2014

OUTGOING MAIL: I'm an open book

My dear penpal Rinske loves reading, so I decided to send her a letter using scraps from an old book. It somehow physically hurts to tear pages from a book (and I don't mean paper cuts, although they hurt too, and by the way, have you ever cut your tongue licking an envelop? Ouch.), but this book is very old and by one of my least favorite dutch writers (Simon Carmiggelt), so I did sleep at night.

I think decorating writing sheets is one of my favorite parts of snailmail. I rarely buy stationery in the store anymore (unless I accidentally step into Paperchase, but I protect myself from this happening very very often). For these writing sheets, I used two sheets of plain white A4 paper, which I cut in half. I tore bits and pieces from my book, and made some fringes. And cute yellow heart stickers from one of my new favorite shops Sostrene Grene (it's a good thing this store is a three-hour drive from Rotterdam!).

Again, bits and pieces and a hole-puncher do the trick! And the yellow cuties ofcourse.

And then for some goodies to send with my letter. I cut two pieces of about 9x5 cm from old bookpages and with double-sided tape I stuck them to white cardstock. I decorated the cards with a quote about reading. For obvious reasons (instant happiness) I made a garland from bookpage scraps, using baker's twine, glue and a flower-hole puncher.

I'm back to experimenting with handlettering again, so I wrote Rinske's name in huge polkadot letters on the envelope. Also pictured: some other snailmail gifts. A sheet of the cute yellow stickers, and decorated white labels (used that flower puncher again).

It went out like this, baker's twine always does the trick doesn't it? I have a thing for bundling up everything I send before putting it in the envie.

That's it, hope you gained some inspiration! Lesson of the day: don't be afraid to tear up an old book every now and then. Oh, and stick yellow hearts everywhere. Just because.


September 15, 2014

OUTGOING MAIL: Extended postcard to Bosnia

Hello lovely readers, it's been a while! After some time of radio silence, while I was relaxing my ass off on the wonderful island of Lanzarote, I'm back and here to stay! We had an amazing holiday! How have you been?

I came home to a very happy mailbox after our holiday! Among all of your lovely letters, was a very cool postcard of Sarajevo from my Bosnian penpal Amra. I brought some tourist cards back from Lanzarote, and wanted to send one of these to Amra. But instead of just putting a plain one in an envelope with my letter, I decided to put a little more effort into it.

Okay, I started selecting pictures for this blog post when I already sent my card away with Mr. Postman. Not such a good idea. Why not? I seriously forgot to take a proper picture of the front of my Lanzarote card. I was like "Are you freaking kidding me?" Nope, turns out I was not. This one above is the best one I have. You have to trust me on my word that Lanzarote is a beautiful place.

Anyway, the whole reason I am writing this post, is to show you that it's really easy to create some extra writing space on your postcards (remember?). I used two blue A4 sheets, adjusted the width to my postcard, stuck them together with double-sided tape and folded them like a harmonica. Yes, it's so easy I was seriously reconsidering this post.

Since  I did not use washi tape for a whole week (I nearly started peeling off random things), I obviously had to use it on this letter. By the way, you won't believe what happened to my previous letter to Amra! It ended up on BARBADOS of all places! Because you know, it was addressed to Bosnia & Herzegovina, which is so close to Barbados and sounds very much alike.

Well, I finished my letter off with some dark blue cotton thread and a label that nicely matched the theme of my letter and the postcard. Hopefully Amra will like the card!

I'm very happy to be back, crafting away, taking pictures, blogging. Expect some new blogposts real soon!